category_outlined / Cars & Motorcycles

Wheels November 2016

Wheels is Australia’s original motoring magazine. Launched in 1953, we’ve been trusted by generations of Australians to provide entertaining and forthright opinions on the good, the bad and the ugly of new and used cars. A world-class car mag with a formidable international reputation, Wheels covers the full gamut of cars – from sports cars to four-wheel-drives, economy to family cars – but it also covers the people, personalities and the power plays behind one of the world’s most dynamic industries.

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6 Issues


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editor’s letter

Here at Wheels we are boundless in our admiration for every one of Falcon’s 56 fabulous years Friday, October 7 is a sad day for Australia, whether you’re a Ford or Holden fan or not. That day marks the end of an icon, the end of one of the cars that made Australia great. The Lucky Country just lost one of its foundations. The sun is setting on our nation’s time as a carmaker, a twilight that ends when both Toyota and Holden cease manufacturing in late-2017. No longer will big-bodied, big-hearted cars be designed, developed and engineered by Australians in Australia for Australia. Ford is the second of the final four to die, after Mitsubishi in 2008. Next year Holden Commodore will die too, as will the Toyota Camry and Aurion –…

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i30 hatches a compact clan

WHEN Hyundai revealed the 2017 i30 hatch in September, it wasn’t just flaunting its latest and greatest (and heavily Europeanised) product, it was showing the world its all-new small car platform, too. It has a near-identical 2650mm wheelbase as the current model, but everything is new under the skin. From the floorpan to the roof, from bumper to bumper, the platform is all-new, and we’ve learned it’s got built-in potential when it comes to upgrading the i30’s drivetrains. Chassis development manager Antonino Pizzuto told Wheels the new platform would enable the Korean automaker to squeeze a rear differential, tailshaft and driveshafts into the back of the i30 to give it all-paw traction, something that hasn’t been available to date. Hyundai makes no secret of its plan to cultivate the yet-to-launch N sub-brand into…

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Ken Blocked YouTube sensation Ken Block could have filmed Gymkhana 9 on the streets of Sydney, but police reportedly made permit applications such a headache the Hoonigan film crew decided against shooting Down Under. Matt Tuccillo from Hoonigan spoke to US site Jalopnik about the issues: “The police down there [Australia] started to make things difficult with the permitting process for the locations we were trying to secure, both public and private. Apparently we were going to be ‘bad’ for Australia and, as we got closer to filming, we started to lose more and more locations, ultimately forcing us to abandon the concept.” “No longer will you be able to call us the Commodore car company”Mark Bernhard, chairman and managing director of Holden, on its import-only future VW fights back Volkswagen Australia boss Michael…

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high-voltage high rider

AUDI has confirmed that an SUV about the size of a BMW X5 and the shape of a Range Rover Evoque will be the first full EV it markets in Australia. Expected to be badged Q6 e-tron, the dedicated EV is set to be unveiled in 2018 ahead of a 2019 local launch, when it will take on the new Tesla Model X. The timing would likely beat rivals from Mercedes and BMW to market. Audi’s long-term electrification strategy kicked into gear in 2015 with the A3 e-tron petrol-electric hybrid. Next will come the Q7 e-tron hybrid in early 2017. Audi Australia GM Andrew Doyle said the Q6 e-tron will be the ideal springboard for full EVs here because of Australia’s growing love affair with high-riding luxury SUVs. “The great thing about Audi’s electrification…

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hyper-hybrid for mercedes

AMG is readying a 50th anniversary present sure to ignite a hypercar war. Codenamed R50, the radical new two-seater will employ F1 technology, including a carbonfibre monocoque and V6 hybrid power. This will be a war won or lost with electrons and battery cells rather than pistons and petrol, with AMG employing electric motors and new lightweight battery packs as the artillery for what will be its fastest car. However, don’t expect the R50 production car to arrive in local Mercedes showrooms; at this stage the multi-million dollar hypercar is expected to be produced only with the steering wheel on the left. Like La Ferrari and the Porsche 918, though, well-heeled Australians could buy the car and keep it overseas – or confine it to race tracks. Designed to cement AMG as a genuine…

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fight to save the ford archive

A NUMBER of high-profile past and present Ford Australia employees are fighting head office over plans to move the company’s extensive archive to the US. “We will be doing everything necessary to try and stop them”– Peter Fry, former Ford Australia product planner If Ford HQ in Dearborn has its way, the archive, which dates back 90 years to when the company first started operating in Australia, will be moved to a centralised site within the Henry Ford Museum, along with national archives from Germany and the UK. Ford Australia has started preparing the archive to be shipped, and Wheels understands a representative from the US is currently here to help prepare the material for export. Ford told us it plans to move the archive “by the end of the year” However, a group of…